The Whitchurch-Stouffville Leisure Centre and Public Library expansion is entering the final phase of construction in anticipation of an official public opening in June.
The expansion adds more than 42,000 square feet to the Memorial Park facility and will include an expanded library (16,000 sq. ft.), new gymnasium (7,800 sq. ft.), new fitness centre (5,800 sq. ft.), new aerobic studio (2,370 sq. ft.) and the relocated Latcham Gallery (3,850 sq. ft.).
“This newly renovated facility represents the town’s hard work to ensure Whitchurch-Stouffville’s growing community is well served now and into the future,” says Marilou Murray, town leisure and community services director. “This is an expansion that both the library and the leisure centre have needed for a while. We are excited to introduce a variety of new programs and services to community residents soon.”
The expansion will also include a new pool viewing area, storage room and more staff. It is the first expansion to the centre since it opened in 2001.
“We are very pleased with the progress of construction, and it is very satisfying to see everything come together in the final stages,” Murray said. “It has been a very smooth operation with all the different leisure and library divisions working together.”
During most of the construction, the Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library has operated out of a temporary location at 175 Mostar Street, Stouffville. The temporary location closed on Feb. 20 and the library will be completely moved out by March 1. The library will reopen at the expanded Park Drive location on April 16.
“The outdoor return bins will be removed from the Mostar location on Feb. 28th and all library items due after that should be deposited in the return bins at the Library and Leisure Centre at 2 Park Dr.,” said Carolyn Nordheimer James, Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library CEO. “The library’s catalogue remains accessible, but items may be renewed once only during the library closure. Items will not be able to be renewed more than once or have holds placed on them until the library reopens.”
The library will be holding a open house from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on April 21 so the public can check out the expansion.
“We are beyond excited for the library to move into its permanent, state-of-the-art home.” Nordheimer James said. “Our customers are going to love everything the library has to offer, from our collection of books, to our digital technology, to our beautiful new reading area and our exciting new innovation space.”
The expansion will include a courtyard area in the centre of the library to allow for access to an outside venue for reading and relaxing.
All areas of the leisure centre, including the pool and fitness studios, remain open to the public. Swim schedules and fitness class information are available on the town website and in the new spring/summer leisure guide, available online or at the centre.
The Latcham Gallery will be located in the area that now occupies the current fitness space and aerobic studio. The gallery will have a dedicated multi-purpose room for their use and direct access from the main lobby. The relocation of the gallery from Main Street will begin after the current fitness area has relocated within the leisure complex.
The new fitness centre will include new dedicated change rooms for fitness users. The new aerobic studio will be adjacent to the fitness area. The new gymnasium will enhance the drop-in programs, daytime programs (including pickleball, badminton and basketball), leagues and rental opportunities.
Construction at the centre is on schedule for the library to open the week of April 16 and the entire complex to be open to the public by late May. Ribbon-cutting ceremonies are scheduled for June 2.